Hotels We Love

Hotels we love for 2015Each year we see more and more magnificent hotels pop up. This is great for travelers as it allows them to really enjoy their stay and want to spend time at their hotel. For 2015 there are some truly magnificent hotels we love and hope that we can stay at this year.

Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza, Argentina
What’s interesting about this lodge is that it is smack dab in the middle of a working vineyard. The hotel is filled with beautiful artwork. The onsite restaurant is impressive with items like lamb that’s been cooked for a full 24 hours. For those that want plenty of space there are Vineyard Villas which are a massive 2,200 square feet. Guests who book at least two nights will receive a complimentary massage.

Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong
As with most Four Season’s hotels, this one is impressive. The smallest room is about 500 square feet. The hotel features things like lemongrass soak spa treatments, silk furnishings and rainfall showerheads. One of the most impressive parts about it is the rooftop deck that has stunning views of Victoria Harbour as well as two swimming pools.

Nayara Springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
This hotel consists of 16 villas and is situated next to the Arenal Volcano. It looks like a retreat in the jungle with its hammocks and interesting wildlife that can be seen out of the windows. There’s a plunge pool filled with spring water from the volcano that guests can lounge around in. Guests can participate in daily Pilates or yoga classes each day.

Singita at Krugar National Park in South Africa
This hotel is for those that really want an intimate feel. It consists of only two lodges that are situated in the treetops. The walls are made of glass and they overlook the Lebombo Mountain Range. For those that really want to experience nature, the hotel will set up an outdoor bed. Guests tend to participate in guided walks to try to catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife like giraffes, zebras and monkeys.

Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
This hotel was voted Northern Ireland’s hotel of the year for 2014. It’s located in the countryside and offers spectacular views. Guests can utilize the infinity pool and enjoy the luxury linens and the nearby Faldo Championship Golf Course. There’s also a Thai spa that offers ten treatment rooms so guests can experience plenty of pampering while at the Lough Erne Resort.

 

Around the World by Private Jet

around-the-world-by-private-jetAround the world by Private Jet in 24 days…

Jules Verne envisioned the circumnavigation of the world in 80 days, during an era of ocean liners carrying steamer trunks filled with gems and train dining cars where cocktail attire was compulsory.  Abercrombie & Kent’s Wonders of the World by Private Jet tour reinvents the notion of luxury travel, escorting you around the globe to ten of the most celebrated places on earth in 24 days. Liberation from airport schedules and restrictive routing allows you to maximize your time on the ground, while simultaneously abridging the overall length of this epic journey. To ensure this all happens seamlessly, visionaries from Abercrombie & Kent scour the globe, meticulously planning every aspect of your indulgent expedition. We give you a sneak peak at a travel scout’s notes, to help you imagine the many experiences that will soon fill the pages of your travel journal.

Jet inspection: Boeing 757-200er I was finally able to step on board the impressive new aircraft. I’m told these mid-size jets typically accommodate up to 228 people, so the space dedicated to no more than 50 passengers is beyond generous. This private jet tour offers 180-degree lie-flat seats, which are clad in Italian leather with inseat massage and adjustable lumbar support, USB hook-ups, power ports — the features are endless.  The footrests create additional seating for travelers to mingle, so it’s more like a living room than an aircraft. Guests of our private jet tours return again and again because they love having the private chef on board, a dedicated luggage manager and a devoted service team; adding a jet of this caliber will increase that number exponentially.

Miami – Peru

Commencing this epic journey is a welcome dinner at the Four Seasons in Miami, allowing our highly inquisitive and fascinating group of travelers the opportunity to meet and greet. Passengers can catch up on sleep in transit to Peru and
we have arranged for all customs paperwork and luggage handling to be taken care of for them upon arrival.  My first stop was the Larco Herrera Museum in Lima, to ensure the private guide will afford our guests privileged viewings of the world’s largest collection of Pre-Columbian art. A chartered flight escorts guests to Cusco, from which the 1920s-style Hiram Bingham train will wind its way to Machu Picchu. There’s no doubt this reinforces our style-in-transit motto. Even
though I’ve been here on several occasions, there was something indescribably poignant about arriving at the Lost City of the Incas via illustrious train as the Urubamba River refracted afternoon sunlight. I chose to climb to the upper part of the city, admiring the labyrinthine landscape of the 200 buildings — temples, residences and agricultural innovations — around and below me.

Peru – Easter Island

As soon as the wheels touch down on therunway of Easter Island, which doubles as a space shuttle landing site, every moment is filled with mystique — from the volcanic faces of the moai statues to a ritual celebrating the haunting ancestry of
god-like king Hotu Matua. At the home of a Rapa Nui tribesman, I was treated to an authentic umu feast — fish wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in the earth atop hot stones. For our future travelers, the company of local dignitaries at this traditional meal makes the experience even more memorable. Tomorrow, I’ll venture off the beaten path at the Orongo ceremonial village where birdman rituals are practiced.

Easter Island – Samoa

I was tempted to simply relax on the sugary sand beaches and float the day away in the bathwaters of the South Pacific like many of our guests will certainly opt to do. But I wanted to pay a visit to the last residence of Robert Louis Stevenson in the village of Vailima. Everyone will be enamored with his five-bedroom estate, which vividly depicts this famed writer’s eccentricities, having the only fireplace in Samoa and regularly receiving oyster shipments from New Zealand. I treated myself to a massage at our resort, Aggie’s Gray Lagoon, before attending a festive Polynesian fia fia on the beach, watching wild fire-spinners and grass-skirted dancers while tasting fabulous kalua pig roast and guava cake — sure to be a guest highlight.

Samoa – Australia

Not a single luxury has been spared in Australia, from a chartered yacht cruise of Sydney Harbour to the helicopter flight over the Blue Mountains. We discovered so many suitable options that fit our exclusive criterion that we opted to give guests a range of choices: private cooking or painting lessons, didgeridoo instruction, trail rides on horseback or a guided nature tour to see kangaroos and wallabies. Inspired by the local honey and cheeses I’ve sampled at Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, I decided to try out the cooking class. I’m looking forward to catching a performance at iconic Sydney Opera House tonight after my meeting there to solidify details for the private dinner event our guests will enjoy
after-hours.

Australia – Cambodia

Briefings with our resident Angkor Wat expert couldn’t prepare me for just how exquisite this 12th-century temple is in person. An archaeologist and wealth of knowledge, he explained details about the cosmic architecture sprawling over 500
acres. In Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm was an otherworldly place to pause for lunch in the shadows of the tree root-entwined monument — this is a must to work into our itinerary. We are then chartering helicopters to take our travelers over the floating village of Siem Reap, as they provide an unparalleled perspective of the buoyed markets and scores of local fishing boats bobbing in Tonle Sap Lake.

Cambodia – India

I didn’t expect to still find India so romantic after so many visits, but the Taj Mahal always enchants both in its history and aweinspiring design. This domed mausoleum hewn from milky, soft marble was built by emperor Shah Jahan to honor his beloved wife who died during the birth of their 14th child. After exploring the grounds and reflecting pool, we reviewed an evening performance depicting the story of the Mughal’s life and reign; it will definitely enrich our guests’ understanding of the man behind the legendary memorial. From my bed in the Oberoi Amarvilas last night, the Taj Mahal was perfectly framed within my window and illuminated with new meaning as a testament to love and loss since its
completion in 1648.

India – Turkey

Our first day in Istanbul, we secured all the contracts to guarantee our guests exclusive access to the most postcard-recognizable landmarks before they open for public visiting hours. This autonomy amplifies the magnitude of sites like the subterranean Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia mosque.  Another highlight will be the thousands of shops at the Grand Bazaar, and we’ve pinpointed which vendors selling towers of aromatic spices, glass lanterns and rugs are the most established and reputable. Off to dinner now in a private palace; we’ve arranged for Ottoman Court musicians to entertain our travelers while enjoying the fit-for-a-sultan fare.

Turkey – Morocco

It’s official: the much-awaited meeting with founder Geoffrey Kent will take place at a private desert camp in Morocco. His timehonored personal relationships in Africa will make this a really memorable finale, as they impart guests with truly exclusive inroads. I can just imagine Geoffrey, clad in his safari hat, greeting everyone with a cocktail in hand as the sun sets over Saharan sand dunes; it will be flawless. The next day, our private jet will whisk the group over the Atlas range for an Arabian horseman show and insider experiences at Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech. The journey culminates with Geoffrey hosting a gala, a Berber feast of couscous and slow-cooked lamb tagine; I did a tasting this afternoon
and it was the best I’ve ever had. I think this rustic food is a befitting finale for a trip that conjures another time, bringing our guests full circle in the tradition of luxury travel.

 

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